Arabic Calligraphy
Kufic Script
‘In the early years of Islam, kufic script became the main style of calligraphy employed to copy the Qur’an.’
In the early years of Islam, kufic became the main calligraphic style employed for copying the Qur’an, it was used on coins and on architectural inscriptions. The kufic style went through several phases of development, from flat and stiff in shape – from which ‘muhaqqaq’ script was developed – to a more lenient phase, which subsequently led to the thuluth, Maghrebi, and riqa’a scripts. The various types of kufic script were gradually standardised, making it almost impossible to identify and attribute an inscription to a particular region by looking at the calligraphy alone.
Ablutions basin

Hegira 377 / AD 988
Umayyads of al-Andalus, Caliphate period
National Archaeological Museum
Madrid, Spain
The presence of this kufic inscription, despite the invention of Maghrebi script, is testimony to the universality of the kufic style, which was employed right across the Mediterranean.